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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Oct 2022 - 4 Nov 2022

Animal Studies

2022 Nov 08

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A



Tmem45b is essential for inflammation- and tissue injury-induced mechanical pain hypersensitivity.


Tanioku T, Nishibata M, Tokinaga Y, Konno K, Watanabe M, Hemmi H, Fukuda-Ohta Y, Kaisho T, Furue H, Kawamata T
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Nov 08; 119(45):e2121989119.
PMID: 36322717.


Persistent mechanical pain hypersensitivity associated with peripheral inflammation, surgery, trauma, and nerve injury impairs patients' quality of life and daily activity. However, the molecular mechanism and treatment are not yet fully understood. Herein, we show that chemical ablation of isolectin B4-binding (IB4) afferents by IB4-saporin injection into sciatic nerves completely and selectively inhibited inflammation- and tissue injury-induced mechanical pain hypersensitivity while thermal and mechanical pain hypersensitivities were normal following nerve injury. To determine the molecular mechanism involving the specific types of mechanical pain hypersensitivity, we compared gene expression profiles between IB4 neuron-ablated and control dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. We identified Tmem45b as one of 12 candidate genes that were specific to somatosensory ganglia and down-regulated by IB4 neuronal ablation. Indeed, Tmem45b was expressed predominantly in IB4 DRG neurons, where it was selectively localized in the Golgi apparatus of DRG neurons but not detectable in the peripheral and central branches of DRG axons. Tmem45b expression was barely detected in the spinal cord and brain. Although Tmem45b-knockout mice showed normal responses to noxious heat and noxious mechanical stimuli under normal conditions, mechanical pain hypersensitivity was selectively impaired after inflammation and tissue incision, reproducing the pain phenotype of IB4 sensory neuron-ablated mice. Furthermore, acute knockdown by intrathecal injection of Tmem45b small interfering RNA, either before or after inflammation induction, successfully reduced mechanical pain hypersensitivity. Thus, our study demonstrates that Tmem45b is essential for inflammation- and tissue injury-induced mechanical pain hypersensitivity and highlights Tmem45b as a therapeutic target for future treatment.